Lessons You Can Use from Vituity's Heroes

Published November 10, 2016

Last week Vituity honored our best and brightest at our 41st Annual Partnership Meeting. And it's fitting that this year's theme was superheroes, because we have some real-life heroes within our ranks.

These exemplary teams and individuals have taught us a lot about delivering great healthcare. From patient advocacy to operations to customer service, they’ve got tons of tricks and tips up their sleeves.

Which got us thinking: why not share some of their wisdom with you?

So without further ado, here’s a roundup of blog posts, case studies, videos, and other resources inspired by our winners. Think of it as your virtual post-event goody bag.

Practice of the Year: Sutter Delta Medical Center (Antioch, Calif.)

Now does this team know how to have fun or what? We should probably point out that they received their award at a theme party. They don’t go to work dressed like this. (Usually.)

But Justice-League-style camaraderie is a big reason they received our highest honor. The SDMC ED team has been on a mission to create a positive internal culture, boost morale, and stamp out negativity. They want to ensure that every provider has a positive, enjoyable shift.

Be a fountain, not a drain. — SDMC ED Team Motto

That positivity has allowed them to achieve great things for their patients and community. Notably, they helped lead the integration of the ED, two local UCCs, and an independent SNF. This means patients, even those without a regular provider, have access to quality follow-up care after an ED visit or hospitalization. You can read all about it in this case study: And here's more about the Vituity culture of caring SDMC embodies:

2017 Wacholder Legacy Award: Martin Ogle, MD

Vituity's highest award for an individual provider is named for founding Partner Myron Wacholder, MD. Here he is with current CEO Wesley Curry, MD:

Dr. Wacholder was a true steward of our Partnership and very influential on our culture. He believed that a democratic, transparent, physician-owned practice adhering to the highest ethical and business standards could not only thrive — it could become the career choice for the brightest and the best in healthcare.

Each year, our board selects one person who exemplifies Dr. Wacholder's extraordinary leadership and stewardship. And if you've spent any time at all on this blog, you'll no doubt recognize this year's winner, Martin Ogle, MD.

A few fun facts about him:
  • He's been a Vituity Partner since 1984.
  • He's served as a Regional Director, Chairman of the Board at The Mutual, and on our Compliance and Risk Advisory committees.
  • He's a founding faculty member of our wildly successful Medical Director Academy, which has since been adapted to train our Advanced Provider Leads. It's also been presented to providers in Santiago, Chile.
  • He's an active member of both the national and California chapters of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).
Dr. Ogle has a passion for advocacy that's evident in the many posts he's authored and coauthored for this blog. A few of our favorites: And just for fun, here are some of our favorite Dr. Ogle quotes (both from 2014):

One thing to remember is that there are a lot of really smart people making predictions right now — and the vast majority of them are wrong. No one knows what our system will look like downstream. And I think the only way to prepare is to have flexibility, to adapt.

And …

I think we're going to be in for pretty interesting times in the healthcare environment. And you know, I sort of embrace it. It should be a pretty crazy ride.

Congratulations, Dr. Ogle. Long may you ride.

Distinguished Practices

At our Partnership Meeting, we also recognize practices that are achieving great results for our patients and hospitals.

The scrappy ED team at Community Hospital San Bernardino (Calif.) operated understaffed and without a nurse director or CNO for two years. But the tenacious few dug in to improve turnaround times, boost satisfaction scores, and even implement a new EMR. Talk about a resilient bunch.

In their honor, here's one of our favorite resilience posts: This year, Vituity welcomed the three ED teams of Via Christi Health in Wichita, Kan., to our ranks. And boy did these providers hit the ground running. Within their first year, they implemented many of our signature processes, including Rapid Medical Evaluation (RME)® and a crisis stabilization unit. They even participated in our cultural development collaborative. Seriously, Team Via Christi, when do you sleep?

In their honor, here's a video featuring one of the processes they rocked:

It's a perennial problem for EDs. How do you handle the sickest patients, many of them frequent visitors, who account for most of your costs? Well, Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights (Ill.) found an innovative solution. By creating care plans for their most complex patients, they reduced utilization among this population by 77 percent over two years — all while increasing patient satisfaction.

In their honor, here's a write-up of their poster presentation at our 2015 Partnership Meeting: Would you worry if your ED volumes shot up by 20 percent? Well, when it happened to the team at Mercy Medical Center Redding (Calif.), they kept their cool. As visits increased, they launched successful initiatives to improve CMI, LOS, and readmission rates. They also called back an amazing 50 percent of their ED patients.

In their honor, here are some practical tips on starting a callback program:

Distinguished Service Awards

Finally, we take some time at every Partnership Meeting to honor the everyday heroes who support and inspire us.

Deanna Rodenberg, FNP, Lead Advanced Provider, has been working like crazy to help make our hospitalist service at Memorial Hospital, Belleville (Ill.) a success. She partnered with Medical Director Adrian Barcus, MD, to ensure that PA/NPs were included in monthly meetings. The result: better teamwork and more cohesive patient care.

In her honor, here's a post on how advanced providers are revolutionizing care delivery: Surinder Yadav, MD, Vice President of Hospital Medicine, embodies the culture of caring. In addition to his executive duties, he has coached and mentored many young leaders in our hospitalist program.

Here's some of his sage career advice: Diana Goodwine, MD, is a clinical education powerhouse. She coordinates learning opportunities for both the Partnership and her colleagues at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, Ill. Notably, she's also served as clinical education coordinator for our Spring Symposia. Oh, and she teaches, too!

Well played, Dr. Goodwine. We think you'd like this post about how ED education can benefit the entire community: David Lee, MD, wears many leadership hats. Within the Partnership, he chairs the Credentials and Partnership Affairs committee. At his home site of Palomar Medical Center, he’s served on numerous committees and chaired the Peer Review Committee.

Dr. Lee embodies our Vituity ideal of servant leadership. For more on leadership opportunities within our Partnership, check out this video:

Your Name Here?

Vituity is looking for heroes like you to grow and strengthen our practice! To learn more about opportunities with Vituity, visit vituity.com or call 800-842-2619.

Partnering to improve patient lives

Vituity branding orange wave pattern background